Doing strategy diffently

The course will introduce students to what it means to be strategic in public and private sector organizations. Using examples from art, literature and philosophy, students will be encouraged to think about strategy as a process of self-presentation rather than a more technical process of knowledge and risk management; strategy shapes organization.

PURPOSE AND DESCRIPTION

The course will introduce students to what it means to be strategic in public and private sector organizations. Using examples from art, literature and philosophy, students will be encouraged to think about strategy as a process of self-presentation rather than a more technical process of knowledge and risk management; strategy shapes organization. The elements to this shape consist of networks, hierarchies and binaries, all of which go to make up a sense of organizational self. The means by which this shaping occurs is one of critique. Strategists are those entrusted to look upon an organization from a critical distance in order to get a sense of the consistency and integrity of the organizational form. As such strategy is understood as an artful practice of judgment and leadership, not a science of decision-making.

Typically strategic practice takes three related forms. First, planning: Here strategists measure, analyze, review and implement, all the while basing decisions on evidence that can be warranted through verifiable methods. The upshot is an over-riding sense of detail and focus on what will deliver competitive and efficient outcomes, coupled to a need for strict execution. Second, vision: Here, rather than attempt to measure and control events, strategists imagine alternatives, visionary representations and statements that instill in others a sense of collective, forward looking momentum. Third, will power: Here strategy gives up on knowledge and control, and on vision, and simply becomes the assertion of a specific set of interests. These can be clearly and persistently stated and pursued with direct brute force, or they can be looser, less committed and pursued with an agile mobility.

It is against these three forms of strategic practice that this course takes its cue. It introduces students to all three forms, going through texts and examples, before then proposing another form: the development of judgment. This, the course will suggest, is an artful form of shaping an organization that attends to the sense of self (what the Greeks called ethos) of the organization. By covering work in art, philosophy and literature, the course introduces students to the different forms judgment might take.     
Discursive in nature, students will be encouraged to think and talk through what it means to judge, as opposed to decide and what sort of organizational shapes might then emerge.

KEY THEMES

Questions considered throughout the course include:

  • What is a strategist?
  • What is it to plan?
  • Is strategy nothing more than the pursuit of self-interest?
  • What do some mission statements work and not others?
  • How has strategic practice evolved in relation to technology?
  • Are their common organizational forms?
  • What is it for an organization to have a strategic sense of its own character?
  • Why is judgment different from decision making?
  • How has judgment been understood historically?
  • What is the role of the humanities and aesthetics in understanding strategy and leadership?

YOUR LEARNING OUTCOME

  • You will be able to understand and reflect on the resonance of humanities and aesthetics in business and management.
  • You will be able to identify structure and apply lessons from philosophy, history and literature and the arts to your own leadership practice.
  • You will be able to analyze the demands of forming organizational strategy as a practice of judgment and integrate this into your own practice.
  • You will be able to understand how strategy and leadership relate to the continual presentation of an organizational ‘self’.
     

 

MODULETYPE Elective
COORDINATED BY Robin Holt, Professor, Department of Management, Politics and Philosophy, Copenhagen Business School
SCHEDULE

23/10 9 am to 5 pm
24/10 9 am to 5 pm
25/10 9 am to 1 pm

LOCATION Copenhagen Businss School, Dalgas Have 15, 2000 Frederiksberg
EXAM

Essay 5-7 pages

Hand in 19th of November 2019

ECTS-POINT 3 ECTS
PRICE 10.000 DKK + expenses for materials



 

Sidst opdateret: Master of Public Governance // 01/04/2019